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Pre-Cabaret meal near Watertown?

I am having a definite challenge finding a good place for dinner near the New Rep in Watertown (in the former Armory) for a meal pre-"Cabaret," their current play. We had hoped to have something thematic...German or other Eastern European. Jasmine Bistro is possible but my theater -going partner had a "bad strudel incident" there and is cautious about returning. Any thoughts??

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  1. Watertown is not exactly a culinary bright spot... best overall chow is probably Shangri-La right near the Armory is the somewhat iffy Casa de Pedro, various other local joints with pizza, beer, wings that range from good to excellent, but little on the higher end and no Euro faire.

    I haven't been to Stellina in a while but that has been an okay spot.

    1. Nothing really fancy nearby but Strip-T's (school street near Arsenal) is pretty good. Stockyard on Market street for hefty meat in a 70's setting. In Watertown Square, Molina for Persian,the aforementioned Stellina and the latin restaurant that replace Casa de Pedro on Main Street.

      3 Replies
      1. re: gourmaniac

        It is actually Molana, in Watertwon Square. Very good Persian in a fairly casual storefront setting. http://www.molanarestaurant.com/

        1. re: gourmaniac

          Strip T's is a cozy little storefront very popular with the locals with a nightly spec'ls blackboard. Prices are reasonable, service friendly, b&w license.
          This has the menu: http://www.stripts.com/

          Strip-T's Restaurant
          93 School St, Watertown, MA 02472

          1. re: Taralli

            Thumbs up for Strip-Ts. In answer to my own question below, we ate there before seeing Picasso at the Lapin Agile at the New Rep. The barbecued ribs were outstanding and the trout special was wonderful as well. As mentioned, very good food with friendly service in a casual atmosphere. Very reasonable prices.

        2. Porcini's on School St is a nice spot (albeit Italian) at least on par with Stellina IMO.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Duster17

            I've had some really bad meals at Porcini's and quite a few other hounds have given it rather bad reviews as well.

            1. re: StriperGuy

              Thanks all, was hoping for something a little more upscale...no ideas even more around Brighton? Newton? Agreed on Porcini's BTW, hasn't maintained quality.

              1. re: camillerotier

                You could try Grappa, hidden behind the Watertown mall which is a nice place, but emphasis on red sauce. Been by it a lot and meant to go there, but no real first hand experience beyond peering through the windows... they seem to have some regulars.

                If you can try Waltham, the bar at La Campania would be a nice place to get ready but might be a bit far. Cafe Brazil will have live music and is a decent place, but is more comfort food than fine cusine.

                There are some options just past Huron Village (Pulcinella, TW Food, Gran Gusto).

              2. re: StriperGuy

                I'm really shocked to hear this. I've always had wonderful meals there, even recently. Why do you no longer like it?

                1. re: qwertyu

                  Badly prepared food, surly staff (think it was even one of the owners) with the attitude of a snooty old school french restaurant. Whole place felt lost in a time warp of 15 years ago or more.

                  Said with a horrible attitude things like: "that's made with gorgonzola, a creamy italian blue cheese" no idea that by now it might be conceivable that a diner would know what gorgonzola is.

                  I am not alone in this experience, search chowhound, pretty universal dislike of Porcini.

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    I still have difficulty believing that. In the suburbs, I have found no better Italian restaurant that offers similar ambiance at that price point. I find it elegant but still comfortable, and there are all of these wonderful nooks so you can have a somewhat private meal.

                    If not Porcini's, where are you dining?. Similar restaurants in the area (Tuscan Grill, etc) don't compare in my book.

            2. For central European no, but I'm a fan of Stellina in Watertown Square. Northern Italian, reasonably priced, nice atmosphere.

              2 Replies
              1. re: lergnom

                I'd definitely second Stellina. IMHO it's a lot better than "okay" ...

                1. re: lergnom

                  And I will play Little Sir Echo with a third strong rec of Stellina.


                2. Harvard Square is really only a ten minute drive from the Arsenal via Soldier's Field Rd. Unless you're walking, there is really no good reason to eat in Watertown! It is pretty bare!

                  1. I am surprised no one suggested Aegean Restaurant? It's very close to the New Rep. Portions are huge. But if you're going on a weekend, I suggest you arrive super early. We went last Sat at 6:45pm and had a 45-min wait.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: y2000k

                      Portions are huge, food is mostly mediocre at the Aegean.

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        If it's anything like their Framingham venue then that's exactly my experience.


                        BTW, might as well add the Stellina link while I'm at it (including website)

                        Aside to dulce de leche, a ten minute drive will bring you to lots of other options, including Waltham, but that wasn't the OP's request.

                        Stellina Restaurant
                        47 Main St, Watertown, MA 02472

                        1. re: Harp00n

                          I figure when it's too hard to get a good answer, you may want to rethink the question...

                        2. re: StriperGuy

                          I had the same impression until we ate there last weekend. The kebab dishes were quite good, and the fried calamari app is fantastic.

                        3. re: y2000k

                          portions may be huge but the food is pretty meh- nasty even, in some cases. I get embarrassed when people think of that as Greek food. It's just bad Greek food.

                          You could try Ariadne in Newtonville. It's only a few minutes to Watertown Sq from there. Though it's starting to feel a teeny bit tired, it's still generally a pleasant enough night out.

                          whoops, didn't see this was an old post. Response still stands though.

                        4. Any updates to this question or recent visits to the restaurants suggested?

                          1. Vecchio Roma (398 Watertown St., Newton) is really good for italian. Good wine list, ambience, and food. The owner/chef is very personable too.